Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yippee! It is done.

Remember this <----? It is finally finished and is now this ------>
Holden shawlette by Mindy Wilkes. 5058 ravelers have made this oh, make that 5059 ravelers have made this pattern making it one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry. Me, I made it four, maybe six times, if you count all that ripping out and re-knitting. I may even make a second one now that I know how to knit.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Fibre-related acronyms

I started to create a list of fibre acronyms, things like UFO (unfinished object) and WIP (works in progress) but I couldn't find some definitions and so, had no idea of what WIM meant (work in mind). And then I found this list from the Spindlers yahoo group and there are even more acronyms than I could ever have imagined. Here's my favorite: WHACO: Wool Housing And Containment Overflow. Very apt.

BIGHI: But I Gotta Have It
BF: Boy/ Best Friend
BFL: Blue Faced Leicester - a sheep breed
BFN: Bye For Now
BRB: Be Right Back
BTW: By The Way
BUFO: Boring UnFinished Object
CAD: Compulsive Acquisition Disorder
CREMA: Computer Reading E-Mail Addiction
CVM: California Varigated Mutant - a sheep breed
CYA: See Ya
DD: Dear Daughter
DH: Dear Husband, Darling Husband or D(word of your choice) Husband
DIL: Daughter In Law
FIL: Father In Law
FO: Finished Object
Frog Stitch: To take out stitches (e.g. Rip it, rip it, rip it)
FYI: For Your Information
GC - Gift Certificate, preferably from a fiber vendor!
GCNI: Gulf Coast Native Improved - a sheep breed
GF: Girl Friend
HALFPINT: Have a Lovely Fantasy Project, I've No Time
HOTP: Hot Off The Press
HTH: Hope This Helps
IAGW: In A Good Way
IYKWIM: If You Know What I Mean
IMHO: In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO: In My Not So Humble Opinion
IMO: In My Opinion
IOW: In Other Words
ISO: In Search Of
JIC: Just In Case
KM: K-Mart
L8R G8R: Later Gator
LFS: Local Fiber Store/Source
LFSO: Local Fiber Store Owner
LOL: Laugh Out Loud
LP: Life Partner
LYS: Local Yarn Store/Source
LYSO: Local Yarn Store Owner
MIL: Mother In Law
MAS: Magazine Acquisition Syndrome: The habit of collecting magazines
MVBFITWWW: My Very Best Friend in the Whole Wide World
NA: Not Affiliated
NAYYY: No Affiliation Yadda Yadda Yadda
NIPS: Spin, backwards; when you have to unspin something you messed up, or to use the fiber with something else.
NOSTY: A nostepinde or nostepinne - a carved stick used to wind a center-pull ball of yarn.
OFC: Obligatory Fiber Content*
OIC: Oh, I see
ORF or ORFIE: Orifice (on a spinning wheel)
ORF or ORFIE HOOK: a tool used to pull fiber thru said orifice
OSC: Obligatory Spinning Content
OT: Off Topic
OTOH: On The Other Hand
ROFL: Rolling On Floor Laughing
ROFLMAO: Rolling on Floor Laughing My @$$ Off
ROFLMBO: Rolling on Floor Laughing My Butt Off
SABLE: Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy
STASH: Our caches of fibers and yarn
sig: signature lines at end of email telling who you are, etc.
SIL: Sister/Son In Law
SIP: Spinning in Public (and you're encouraged to do it!)
SO: Significant Other ~or~ Spin Off depending on the context in which used
ThUD: The Usual Disclaimer
TIA: Thanks In Advance
TINK: to KNIT backwards, for when you must work a mistake backwards
one stitch at a time (see FROG above also.)
TMS: Too Much Stash
TPI: Twists Per Inch (Not to be confused with WPI, below.)
TTFN: Ta Ta For Now
TTYL: Talk To You Later
TY: Thank You
UDO: Un-Designed Objects
UFO: Un-Finished Object
UPGS: Unfinished Project Guilt Syndrome
USO: Un-Started Object
VM: Veggie Matter; commonly refers to all the crud in an unprocessed
fleece. Can include raw veggie matter or veggie matter that has already
been... through the sheep.
WHACO: Wool Housing And Containment Overflow
WIP: Work In Progress
WIM: Work In Mind
WM: Wal-Mart
WPI: Wraps Per Inch (not to be confused with TPI above)
YKWIM: You Know What I Mean
YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary
YW: You're Welcome

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another story - life after death

[Photo: Protection Island lighthouse]
We met John this summer. Late fifties, early retiree. He anchored his 40' live-a-board sailboat just off Lasquiti Island. In the heat of the day we sat admiring it from shore with him. He had purchased it last year from a widow whose husband had spend over $200,000 getting it ready to sail around the world, just before the husband died. The boat sat for six years before John found it. When he retired from 32 years working in Alberta, he was desperate to live on a boat. Any boat. A hulk would do. He didn't care if it had a motor, he just wanted to live on the water. But he found a dream boat instead.  
He wasn't sure if he was up to sailing across deep seas, so he set sail with two friends, a retired FBI agent and a Navy Seal, two guys ready for any emergency, from Puget sound headed for the Baja. Off the Washington Coast they had engine troubles but John managed to jury rig some parts and they headed in to Astoria to make permanent repairs.
That was the last thing he remembered before waking up in the Portland hospital. He had been dead for 3 hours. His heart had stopped and paramedics had managed to keep him breathing. He arrived at the emergency operating room DOA and the doctor asked what the hell was he supposed to do with him. Someone said 'do what you can.' And the doctor did. John is alive 9 months later due to a series of little miracles: engine breaking down when/where it did, paramedics being so close by, the doctor doing what he could.
I asked if his friends had first aid training and had kept him breathing until the paramedics had arrived. He said they were both trained but neither had administered first aid for fear of being held liable. 
I didn't ask if they were still friends.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Judith MacKenzie - Spinner Extroidinaire

Judith MacKenzie, is the reason: I have a passion (some would call it an illness); a guest bedroom unfit for guests; and a potentially lethal bomb in the form of vacuum packed fibres and fleece and, as my husband often worries 'if just one of them pops, just one, it will have a domino effect; each bag exploding into the next until the whole house will explode outwards, with fibre bulging at every seam'.
Judith taught me to spin, and weave, and dye. She didn't just teach the techniques, she inspired with her knowledge. She taught me 30 years ago and I spun, knit and wove up a storm for a few years before my career took over and I put my loom and spinning wheel aside only to take them out again a few years ago.
Thirty years later, Judith is internationally renown. She has many articles in Spin-Off, books and DVDs (see below).  
[Photo:From Judith's textile stash - African fabric]
Two years ago, I met up with Judith on the Olympic Peninsula when I took her Tribal Textiles workshop (see the blog post here). Judith now lives in Forks, Washington, the centre of vampire Twilight country (ask any female teenager) and set up her teaching studio in an old historic building used by the local theatre group and arts groups. That building burnt down last week and Judith lost all her wheels, looms and OMG, her stash!
I know, I am guilty of wishing for a fire every now and then to clean out my guestroom but it is only a fleeting idea and it feels like such a sick thing to even think even if it is internal lighthearted humour to avoid the actual act of de-stashing. My stash isn't that exciting. It is merely a stash made by not being able to resist any fibre while I had unclaimed cash in my pocket. But consider Judith, who knows her fibres so well and has been collecting only the best, the unusual, the interesting. When at the Tribal workshop, Judith mentioned Texas mohair, I asked her what it was and she replied 'only the very best , the softest, the finest, mohair'. That night she dug into her stash and the next day presented me with a bag of it.  That's Judith. Not only does she know exactly what you need to do to improve your spinning, but she is so kind and thoughtful.
Franklyn Habit (that hilariously funny and slightly outrageous male MUST read his blog) posted the news on his Facebook page, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, who also keeps us in stitches, blogged on her Yarn Harlot blog
about the tragedy. Her fan club 'Daughter's of Judith, in Ravelry have a discussion thread on it too. Friends have rallied and have created a web page 'Rebuild Judith's Studio' and have a Paypal link if you wish to donate:
I've put an amazon list of her books and videos below, but you can also purchase them from Interweave.